WikiLeaks suspends publishing

Julian Assange says that the organisation will focus on fighting a financial blockade.

Short of funds and the victim of a financial blockade, WikiLeaks is to suspend publishing operations. Announcing the decision at a press conference at the Frontline Club earlier today, Julian Assange said that the site planned to focus on raising new funds. He revealed that "an arbitrary and unlawful financial blockade" by the Bank of America, Visa, Mastercard, PayPal and Western Union had destroyed 95 per cent of WikiLeaks' revenues. He added that if it was not lifted by the new year the organisation would "simply not be able to continue". Donations to the site were running at €100,000 a month in 2010, but had dropped to a monthly figure of €6,000 to €7,000 this year.

In a statement, WikiLeaks said:

The blockade is outside of any accountable, public process. It is without democratic oversight or transparency.

The US government itself found that there were no lawful grounds to add WikiLeaks to a US financial blockade. But the blockade of WikiLeaks by politicised US finance companies continues regardless.

Earlier this year, Assange appeared at a New Statesman/Frontline Club debate on whistleblowing. You can watch his speech in full here.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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Quiz: Can you identify fake news?

The furore around "fake" news shows no sign of abating. Can you spot what's real and what's not?

Hillary Clinton has spoken out today to warn about the fake news epidemic sweeping the world. Clinton went as far as to say that "lives are at risk" from fake news, the day after Pope Francis compared reading fake news to eating poop. (Side note: with real news like that, who needs the fake stuff?)

The sweeping distrust in fake news has caused some confusion, however, as many are unsure about how to actually tell the reals and the fakes apart. Short from seeing whether the logo will scratch off and asking the man from the market where he got it from, how can you really identify fake news? Take our test to see whether you have all the answers.

 

 

In all seriousness, many claim that identifying fake news is a simple matter of checking the source and disbelieving anything "too good to be true". Unfortunately, however, fake news outlets post real stories too, and real news outlets often slip up and publish the fakes. Use fact-checking websites like Snopes to really get to the bottom of a story, and always do a quick Google before you share anything. 

Amelia Tait is a technology and digital culture writer at the New Statesman.